I first told an online gay friend (1996). He was horrified, thought I was having a mid-life crisis related to my marriage breaking up. And fearful he'd get blamed for having "recruited" me with our previous online chats about gay life, the first gay guy I ever knew.
And he said I was too "straight acting" to be gay, former Army Colonel, motorcyclist, all that crap. And I said wait a minute, it was YOU who told me gays can be butch, as you are, ranging from police, firefighters, truck drivers, football players, and even Army soldiers. It was that revelation that made me realize I was gay myself. So don't pull the rug out from under me now!
And can you explain my collection of Playgirl magazines from the 1970s? All my International Male catalogs from that same time, and lots of gay erotic art? If I'm having a mid-life crisis, it started in my 20s. He e-mailed back to me: "Ooops!" That ended that.
But he was still concerned I was coming out too fast, and might have "relapses" and remorse and depression. A fair worry, but it never happened.
He became my gay mentor, my escort for the Seattle gay scene when I finally met him in person, and a better tutor a guy coming out never had. I'm so lucky to have met him online, to have told him I was gay, and let him be my trainer. Sometimes I really do get that fortunate.